25 January 2017
Improved ergonomic design
Sweat & water resistant
Colours: Black, blue, pink, yellow, white
Apple W1 Chip
Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch & Mac, iOS 10, Watch OS 3, Inline controls, remote & mic, RemoteTalk, Siri, Hands-Free calls
Class 1 Bluetooth up to 30 ft, wireless, Micro USB port
Up to 12 hours battery life
Fast Fuel quick charge
Cable management clip
Clear, powerful, dynamic sound
Immersive listening experience
High-performance Beats sound
Premium level materials
4 ear-tip sizes
Great battery life
Good Bluetooth connection
A look at Powerbeats 3 Wireless, what’s changed from Powerbeats 2 Wireless?
With Powerbeats 2 Wireless ranking among the best wireless in-ear headphones it’s not surprising Beats decided to just slightly tweak the design rather than give a whole new look…..why fix it if it’s not broken, right! At a glance the earphones look the same however Beats have made some slight adjustments for a more improved ergonomic design. Powerbeats earhook is one of it’s best features, making for a very comfortable and secure fit; and while Beats have not changed this design, they have lengthened the arm slightly and altered the angle for an even more comfortable fit and a design that should fit more users a lot better. As with the original Powerbeats and all in-ear headphones the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are an open-air earphone, meaning they and your ears are more exposed to the elements and external noise. However, Beats have made the Powerbeats 3 sweat and water resistant, so you can take them running and not worry about getting caught out in the rain or sweating a lot in an intense workout. If you love Beats headphones you will expect to see a pop of colour and though the Powerbeats 3 don’t have the same canvas as their brother, Beats Solo 3, you can get the wireless earphones with a touch of blue, pink or yellow and of course they come in the classic all black or white. While the design has nothing new to offer, we loved the Powerbeats 2 Wireless so we’re not too peeved that there’s nothing too exciting to write about here.
Similar to it’s cousin, the Apple AirPods, Powerbeats 3 Wireless come with the new and improved Apple W1 chip, which has been designed just for headphones. The W1 chip allows the Powerbeats 3 connect to any Apple device seamlessly and it also very power efficient to ensure a longer battery life. The W1 chip is one of Apples best improvements for it’s headphones, it’s smart, fast and smooth.
Ease of Use
Powerbeats 3 Wireless are compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, they will also work with any Android or Bluetooth enabled device but as they are designed specifically for Apple you may find the odd kink in on-line controls or connectivity. Apple’s new and improved W1 chip has made connecting to your Apple device extremely easy, once it’s paired to the device initially you can just tap-to-connect and if you want to switch to another Apple device just hold the Powerbeats 3 close to the device or tap again to connect, it couldn’t be easier. While using the Powerbeats 3 you have the new, slimmer inline controls which have a remote and mic, to allow you to skip and pause tracks or adjust volume. You can also use RemoteTalk to take hand’s free calls and talk to Siri to get directions or answer a text, or what ever you usually talk to Siri about. Apple has really worked on making their earphones easy to use with a strong wireless connection and the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are a great example of this.
The Powerbeats 3 support Class 1 Bluetooth wireless connectivity up to 30 feet and thanks to Apple’s W1 chip I mentioned earlier, connectivity is strong and seamless among any of your Apple devices. The Bluetooth connection is among the strongest I’ve tested and I had no issues with any of my Apple devices or indeed the Android device I tested, though my Android testing was limited.
Beats have packs the Powerbeats 3 with rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that it claims gives you up to 12 hours battery life, which is actually pretty accurate and a very good battery life for small in-ear headphones. Depending on your daily usage you will get a few days before needing to plug the wireless headphones in for a charge, however if you get caught short the Powerbeats 3 support Fast Fuel quick charge which gives you an hour battery life after just five minutes charge. The Powerbeats 3 are charged via a Micro USB port rather than a lightening cable, which may change with the next release.
Weighing a mere 24 grams the Powerbeats 3 are extremely light and portable, very comfortable to wear for hours on end. Beats have also given the wireless earphones a connecting cable so you can hang the earphones around your neck when you’re not using them and adds comfort if the Powerbeats 3 did slip, however unlikely, it should stay on your neck. The cable also comes with a handy cable management clip which allows you to tighten the Powerbeats 3 to your head which again increases the secure fit on your head, especially for joggers. Beats have provided a hard carry-case to protect the Powerbeats 3 when you want to store them away or bring them in a bag.
The Powerbeats 3 Wireless give a clear, powerful, and dynamic sound and thanks to the earhook design with soft ear-tips the Powerbeats 3 securely fit into your ear for an immersive listening experience. Due to the open-air design you do not get any sort of noise cancellation, which is to be expected with any in-ear headphones however with Beats dual-driver acoustics you can enjoy the high-performance Beats sound even on busy streets, though you may need to pump up the volume a bit. Some have reported issues with volume, or that the Powerbeats 3 are not as loud as Powerbeats 2, however while testing I did not find this at all, I found the Powerbeats to pack as much volume as I wanted, even to drown out some external noise on a busy train. That said, when I had the Powerbeats 3 at full volume there was some distortion, sound was not as clear and crisp as I would like. However, at a normal volume level you will find the highs to be very crisp with loud mids so you can hear every word from your favourite singer; bass is strong and very present, not so much that it drowns out the mids and highs but it is a little overpowering, something some may find a little too much.
While Beats use premium level materials, previously some reported Powerbeats 2 were not too durable, not fragile but you wouldn’t want to sit on them. Beats say they have made the Powerbeats 3 a lot more durable though we do not have any details to validate this….. I still wouldn’t sit on them and would recommend you use the hard carry case when transporting them or when they’re not in use.
Beats provide 4 ear-tip sizes to suit a wide variety of users, this combined with the adjustable, Secure-Fit earhooks means the Powerbeats 3 are a very comfortable, secure fit. Beats have designed the Powerbeats 3 for sports and recreations use, not only are they comfortable to wear while sitting at your desk listening to music but also while out jogging. Beats have designed these wireless earphones beautifully.